GfK updates digital maps for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland

by | Apr 1, 2021

Bruchsal, GermanyApril 1, 2021 “ GfK’s new digital maps for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland are now available. The new 2021 maps contain several hundred changes to postcode and administrative areas such as municipalities. Up-to-date digital maps are the basis for location-based analyses in geomarketing as well as business intelligence (BI) and enable precise and correct placement and analysis of company data and market potential.

The map set includes digital maps for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, updated to the latest status for all official regional levels. The GfK Map Edition contains several hundred changes to postcode and administrative areas due to dissolved or newly added regions or due to border or name changes. In addition to the maps, GfK’s geomarketing experts have also updated the corresponding market data on GfK Purchasing Power as well as population and household figures for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Klaus Dittmann, head of cartography in GfK's Geomarketing solution area, explains: Up-to-date and accurate digital maps are essential for companies in all industries to perform spatial analysis accurately and without errors. Since there are numerous changes to postal and administrative areas throughout the year, we update our maps annually so that our customers can perform their business analyses with the most current information. In Austria, for example, there have been structural changes in the municipalities of Klagenfurt and Linz, which there alone have resulted in 95 enumeration districts being dissolved and 110 new ones being created. An up-to-date map base is essential for geomarketing analyses because outdated bases lead to erroneous results.


2021 changes in Germany


  • municipalities: 5 municipalities were dissolved. The boundaries of 8 municipalities changed as a result of incorporations and district reallocations. There was an ID change in 2 municipalities and designation changes in 80 municipalities. There were also 2 name corrections and 1 boundary correction. The number of municipalities changed from 11,003 (on 01.01.2020) to 10,998 (on 01.01.2021).


  • 5-digit postcodes: There were 104 boundary changes/corrections due to relocations.


2021 changes in Austria


  • districts: There were name changes for 6 districts.
  • municipalities: There were 2 boundary changes at the municipal level.
  • enumeration districts: 95 were dissolved, 110 were newly formed. There were 2 name changes and 7 boundary changes.


  • 4-digit postcodes: There were 1 newly added 4-digit postcode and 10 boundary changes due to relocations.


2021 changes in Switzerland


  • municipalities: 36 municipalities were dissolved, 6 were newly formed and there were 3 name changes. Thus, the number of municipalities changed from 2,215 (on 01.01.2020) to 2,185 (on 01.01.2021).


  • 6-digit postcodes: There was 1 ID change, 4 name changes and 361 boundary changes or corrections due to relocations.
  • 4-digit postcodes: There were 3 name corrections and 276 boundary changes or
    corrections due to relocations.


Coverage, features and formats

The new map editions offer comprehensive coverage, seamlessly fitting and overlap-free boundaries, complete national and local place-name attributions and infinite zoom capability.

Like all of GfK's digital maps, the new map editions for Germany, Austria and Switzerland are available in all standard map formats, including *.shp (ESRI), *.tab (MapInfo), *.gdb (GeoDatabase) and *.lay (GfK). The maps are also available in the Oracle (Spatial) database format for use in Oracle Business Intelligence applications. With the release of GfK's Europe Edition 2020/2021, the previously used Windows encoding for shapefiles has been replaced by the more practical Unicode (UTF-8) encoding standard. In addition, the MapInfo TAB format has been changed to the more current MapInfo TAB Extended format.

The maps for all three countries (or for another European country of choice) as well as seamlessly fitting, up-to-date GfK purchasing power data are standard components of RegioGraph 2021, GfK's new geomarketing software solution.

These maps are part of GfK’s cartographic coverage of 240 countries, the largest collection of digital administrative and postcode maps available on the market.


Additional information on GfK's worldwide digital maps can be found here.

Print-quality illustrations can be found here.


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